Sheriff Frank Kelly provided an update on the $14.2M Miami County jail.
 
The new facility will be all-inclusive. Sheriff Kelly calls it "a city within a city." Open and operating 365 days a year, it will impact families and house people from all over and employees are held to a high standard of accountability to care for inmates.
 
Kelly sees more mental health issues now than ever before. The floor plan of the new facility will be more efficient for unique situations with separate rooms for intake, clergy, programs and visitation. No longer linear, the 1/2 moon architecture will provide a control center and pods for clear visibility and accessibility.
 
The location was a primary concern for citizens. It will be constructed south of the administration building on the southeast corner of Pearl. Here are some more fun facts:
  • The first phase will provide 96 beds and future construction will mirror Phase I with another 96 beds
  • There will be 11 jailers and 41 employees
  • Female prisoners require more space than males
  • There was a need for 65 prisoners at the beginning of the year
  • The current facility holds 22-23 prisoners
  • The rest had to be "farmed out"
  • It costs $35/day to farm out prisoners with travel and exmployee expenses
  • It costs $12/day to feed prisoners
  • Medical issues are the most expensive aspects of incarceration
  • Providing television for inmates is a benefit because it helps keep them calm
  • Televisions are set on the Disney channel
  • There is no work release program in Miami County because there is no space for it
    • Inmates have to meet specific criteria to qualify for work release and many don't
  • The average length of stay for an inmate is 3 months
  • One of the most important aspects of the new jail is keeping it well staffed
  • Training is approximately 10 weeks
    • 2 weeks of school and 8 weeks of on-the-job training
    • Johnson County has its own certified academy
    • The starting salary is $14-16/hr
  • In 2014 crimes were mostly against property
    • cameras help
    • Franklin, Miami, Cass, Bates and Linn counties work together and notice a decrease in crimes when an arrest is made because word gets around quickly
  • Miami County is testing and evaluating body cameras, "you hesitate, you die," Kelly said, "That's reality."
  • The public attitude toward police is pretty negative after Ferguson. Kelly says that's something they have to deal with on a regular basis, "You have a system in this country. You've gotta believe in it."
 
In Other News:
  • Anna Hudspeth will be our 2015-16 President
  • Janet Houchen has agreed to be her President Elect